My Quest to Summit Mount Everest
by Dr. Reza Khazaie
Throughout the year I will be preparing to climb and reach the summit of Mount Everest. Being on the mountain and mountaineering is not a sport, since you are not competing with anybody but yourself. I was asked, “Why Mount Everest?” My answer is simple. It’s the highest achievement for me both mentally and physically.
I hope you will enjoy reading about my journey, the preparation, the ups and downs, and what I learn along the way. I look forward to those who are cheering me on to be able to share this once-in-a-lifetime journey with you.
Preparing for Mount Everest
The main challenge for high altitude training is, working on the physical aspect, and acclimatization. For Everest, you have to train the body and brain in high altitudes. We start with 5,500-meter mountains and we gradually move up to 8,000 meters. That alone can take years of training.
My recent climb last month of Mount Aconcagua, which is #6 of the “Seven Summits” in the world, was one of the most challenging trips for me since the oxygen level of 7,000 meters is only 8.9%! For comparison, the oxygen level at sea level is 21%.
For the climb of Mount Aconcagua, I slept in a special tent to train my body for low oxygen for 45 days before the climb. It’s called a hypoxico tent for high-altitude training.
For hours, I also exercised at Zone 1-2 level heart rate (120-130 BPM). In high altitudes, the heart rate doesn’t go above that.
Have you climbed other peaks?
Cayambe – Ecuador, South America
Elevation: 18,996 ft. / 5,790 m
Cayambe is a massive glaciated extinct volcano. It is both Ecuador’s third highest peak and the third highest peak in the America’s north of the Equator. It also is the highest point on the Earth’s surface through which the Equator directly passes. It is a rather dangerous climb due to very active glaciers, crevasses, and avalanches.
Cotopaxi – Ecuador, South America
Elevation: 19,347 ft / 5,897 m
Cotopaxi is the second-highest mountain in Ecuador. It is known as one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, with a nearly perfect conical shape. The summit or highest point it’s actually the northern rim of the crater, which is rounded and measures approximately 480 meters wide. The smell of sulfur and the presence of fumaroles are evident from up there.
Chimborazo – Ecuador, South America
Elevation: 20,571 ft / 6,270 m
This huge mountain is the highest point in Ecuador. Longtime considered the highest mountain on the planet. Considering the geometry of the Earth, this summit is known as the farthest point from its center. It has five summits, the highest culminating at 6,270 meters (20,571 feet).
What will it mean to you to reach the summit of Mount Everest?
I look at any climb I make that I reach the top of the mountain as conquering myself.
Why Mount Everest, for you?
It’s the highest achievement mentally and physically. Being on the mountain and mountaineering is not sport, since you are not competing with anybody. You are competing with yourself.
How many people have successfully climbed
to reach the summit of Mount Everest?